Metro home prices reach new peak amid growing competition

by Steve Randall09 Aug 2018

Home prices nationwide continue their upward trajectory as tight inventory clashes with strong demand in many parts of the country.

The intense competition has pushed the median price of an existing single-family home to $269,000, a rise of 5.3% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2018. It means that Q2 2018 sets a new record high, surpassing the previous $255,400 peak of Q2 2017.

The National Association of Realtors says that San Francisco has now joined San Jose with a median sales price of more than $1 million.

Median sales prices increased in 90% of measured markets, 161 of the 178 metros; while 24 (13%) saw double digit gains, down from 30% in the second quarter of 2017.

"The ongoing supply crunch affecting much of the country worsened for most of the second quarter, as the growing number of interested buyers in many markets overwhelmed what was already a meager level of available listings," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "With not enough homes for sale, multiple bids caused prices to rise briskly and further out of the reach of some prospective buyers."

Most, least expensive markets
The five most expensive housing markets in the second quarter were the San Jose, California metro area, where the median existing single-family price was $1,405,000; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California, $1,070,000; Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, California, $830,000; urban Honolulu, $795,200; and San Diego-Carlsbad, $645,000.

The five lowest-cost metro areas in the second quarter were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio, $94,400; Cumberland, Maryland, $94,900; Decatur, Illinois, $96,900; Elmira, New York, $106,300; and Erie, Pennsylvania, at $121,700.

"The unaffordable conditions in many of the largest metro areas – especially in the West – continues to be a growing concern for many middle-class households aspiring to buy a home," said Yun. "Homebuilders, facing higher costs and labor shortages, are simply not producing enough affordable homes to satisfy demand. Local governments need to acknowledge this glaring issue and ease some of the zoning laws, permitting processes and regulations that are slowing construction."


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